Gatemouth's blog

Blowing the Chauffeur: The Mournful Sound You Hear Is Not Tekiyah Gedolah; It's Kaddish (Taps For Alan Hevesi)

September 25, 2001 was the only time Alan Hevesi ever wanted my vote that he didn’t get it. On September 11th, 2001, I rose early in the morning and voted for Hevesi for mayor, although I knew he’d lose. There was going to be a run-off, and I’d then get a chance to re-evaluate, so why not go for my first choice?

Of course, my vote for Hevesi that day never got counted, and newly sobered by the reality of what had just occurred and the enormity of what lay ahead, I decided to get serious in the rescheduled primary two weeks later. Between Freddy Ferrer’s insensitively premature remarks about moving businesses out of Lower Manhattan, and his public ass-kissing of Al Sharpton, I decided the run-off was now and switched my vote to Mark Green. It was the right thing to do, and I felt terrible. That November, Hevesi appeared on the Liberal line and I voted against him again, although this time, so did he.

The Difference Between a Cactus and a Caucus

On September 19, I announced: “I’ll be going on modified High-Holy-hiatus until 9/25, although I reserve the right to come back and comment on anything that interests me and won’t keep until then.”

I kept fairly silent, not posting my own pieces, and minimally sticking my nose into the business of others. The one “Room 8” entry I chose not to ignore was this pissing match between EnWhySea Wonk and Rock Hackshaw in which, in keeping with the spirit of the holidays,  I tried to play peacemaker, to no avail, telling them that while a little towel snapping in the Room 8 Locker Room was to be expected (and if one couldn't  take it, they could always join the Chorus instead), if this sort of street brawling continued, I'd have to see to it that Coach benched the both of em. 

The Gatemouth Project

I’ll be going on modified High-Holy-hiatus until 9/25, although I reserve the right to come back and comment on anything that interests me and won’t keep until then. When I come back, it is my intent to provide extremely nasty, unrelentingly partisan pro-Democratic commentary until the election.

Nuance and thoughtfulness will not go out the window, because, when deployed properly, they are extremely effective techniques. But the goals should be clear:

Joe Dreck

The saga of the cash cow known as the Independence Party (IP), which I’ve religiously documented here and here continued on primary day when a number of votes important to the party took place.

In the 13th Congressional District (Staten Island/Brooklyn), the party forfeited its one opportunity for usefulness, when it rejected its homegrown lunatic, Anita Lerman, and re-nominated the repugnant Vito Fossella, who shares with both factions of the IP leadership a predilection for spending taxpayers’ money in manners inappropriate, whether it be on matters small (photos for his campaign literature) or large (the war in Iraq).

Brooklyn Bridge Park: A Modest Proposal

“One of the real issues in the campaign (on the Brooklyn side of the district) is the proposed construction of luxury housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP). Connor's for it. Diamondstone's against -- and so is the community. It's not Atlantic Yards. Call this story "on the waterfront." But this primary election is shaping up as a referendum on an issue. And isn't that what they're supposed to be about.” 

Alex Navarro – Working Families Party (WFP) Blog (9/6/06)

Although Marty Connor beat Ken Diamondstone 55/45, these numbers are deceiving. About 65% of the the 25th Senatorial District is in Manhattan, about 10% in Williamsburg/Greenpoint; Connor won those areas handily; although a 36 year resident of Brooklyn Heights, with 28 years representing the area in the State Senate, Connor  lost the Brownstone Brooklyn area by a resounding margin, taking less 40% of the vote. While there were other issues, Mr. Navarro is exactly right. Atlantic Yards, which Mr. Navarro and the WFP support, is not in the 25th SD, and the intensity of opposition to it drops exponentially with every block. The proposed park is at the edge of the prosperous areas of Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill, and has inspired intense, albeit uninformed, opposition.  If this was a referendum on the Park, and I think it was, the Park lost.

Mouthstradomus (brought to you by New York's solipsistic blogger diva)

"And Coppolla, jr. won the Senate seat in Buffalo. The Times saw a story here that wasn't. Look, however, for young Cop to be the second in his family to take the seat in a special and lose it in the next primary."

Posted by: Gatemouth | March 1, 2006 05:06 PM on The Politicker

"Perhaps all of DDDB's superheroes: [Bill] Batson, Major Minor, The Black Barron, Diamondhead, and Super Cop can all meet together in Jonathan Lethem's Fortress of Solitude to offer a victory toast to Super Cop, who, in solitude, will likely be the only one holding a new elected office come January."

Posted by: Gatemouth | August 21, 2006 08:26 PM  on The Politicker (Note: the quote is far funnier, and less offensive to those with delicate sensiblites, in its original context, here.

Mea Culpa Maxima; or The Mouth Bites Off More Than It Can Chew

How embarrassing. A Reader who was either FUSTB or “Angry Bald Husband of an Overrated Judge” (ABHOAOJ) wrote an intemperate reply to one of my Voter’s Guide’s and while I was forced to zap their inappropriate remarks, the substance of their criticism was largely correct. Others also pointed to some smaller factual errors.

This was without bad intent (and I’m sure their correction was without good intent), but it was clear that it was my fault and needed to be addressed. My attempt to say something resembling insightful commentary about every contested primary for public office in the entire City was clearly a goal beyond my grasp. If the Citizen’s Union, with an entire team, couldn’t do it, how could I?

"The Dean, and the premier source of legitimate information" (Even For Those Who Disagree With Him)

“Yassky has attractive credentials (smart, committed, excellent on gun control), with one drawback. He had to move three blocks to be able to say he lives in the district, continuing a pattern in which he seems a bundle of ambition and campaign contributions in search of an office. Previously, he had run for school board in Washington and for Brooklyn DA as well as for the Council.” 
New York Daily News Editorial (9/7/06)

“David’s obsessive ambition is still a concern. Sometimes it appears that he really thinks he's going to be the first Jewish president. He's spent his life looking for the next office to run for (from DC School Board to Council to DA to Congress) and is always starting his campaign about five minutes after (if not five minutes before) he unloads his moving van”
Gatemouth’s Blog (4/14/06)

Gatemouth’s Voter’s Guide (Part Four-The State Assembly)

 “Dear Emperor Gatemouth, In the land of pomposity, your reign is supreme.”

- Ravi Batra (who ought to know)

For New York City Residents, the Assembly is the good cop to the Senate’s bad. Those who have any illusions concerning what this means are reminded to read the following:

The Member of the Assembly is the elected official in the City with the smallest constituency, allowing parochialism to be at its most manifest. There are 62 Assembly Districts in the Naked City; here are a few of their stories:

Gatemouth’s Voter’s Guide (Part Three-The State Senate)

"You are a Saul Bellow character...fixated, detail-oriented, obsessive interiority" 

-Ben Smith (The Daily News)

Everything I think relevant about the State Legislature is probably encompassed in these pieces:

Albany Primer - Why Does NYC Get Screwed at Budget Time
Settling for the Steak Knives
Don't Print the Legend - The Real Story of the Commuter Tax

To the extent that I’ve recommended candidates here, it is mostly in the spirit of trying to make the best of a bad situation, although when applied to some of these races, that would be an optimistic assessment.  Our legislature is reflective of the state in the same way a mirror would be if it was glued together after being smashed with a ball peen hammer.  While viewing it as a whole may be frightening, looking at it piece by piece does not necessarily provide any additional illumination, as the whole is less than the sum of its parts, given that only two of those parts are usually operable. The Senate may be the bigger problem, but in some ways this is like drawing the distinction between Leopold and Loeb.



Village Voice: But, What Have You Done For Me Lately? (Worthless Rag ’06).  Those who dismiss paranormal phenomena be on notice. During last week’s sixth diss of Chris Owens I took the opportunity to use the release of Owens’ new song as the occasion for a loving parody of writer Robert Christgau. While the Dean of New York political bloggers oft times cites Michael Kinsley as the seminal influence upon his writing, the truth is the Dean of Rock Crits is his secret hero. And though the influence is sometimes hard to spot - the soul of brevity influencing the king of verbal diarrhea- (but then again, see Christgau’s endless essays on the Annual Pazz and Jop Product Poll), the plentiful  puns, cultural reference, piles of facts upon facts, and inside jokes had to come from somewhere, right? Then last week, the Voice fired the Dean while an unknowing Gate was channeling his spirit for fun and spite. Is this a Celestine Prophecy moment, or what? Is Hentoff next? Well, every cloud may indeed have its silver lining, but this is the most disgraceful act committed by a New York weekly not owned by Ed Weintrob since the New York Press wimped out on the cartoons. E-  

Gatemouth’s Voter's Guide (Part Two – Judicial Races)

   "You are as much a resource as google"
 - Azi Paybarah, New York Observer (both his paper and his life’s work) 

The subject of judicial selection traditionally draws a lot of hew and cry, but little passion. The first piece I ever did on Room 8 was about Judicial selection, and drew exactly zero comments, despite the fact it was written to offend the delicate sensibilities of nearly everyone (I’ll try to minimize repetition with the ground covered there).

Gatemouth’s Voter’s Guide (Part One- Intro; Statewide and Congressional Races; Notes)

"The Dean, and the premier source of legitimate information"
- Maurice Gumbs 

As a public service to the perplexed I am providing links to the posts of mine most relevant to each of the contested races in this year’s primary. I’ve also written something resembling commentary concerning each of those races I’ve not already given any attention on Room 8 (although some comments are adapted from posts I’ve made elsewhere). This article is intended to be comprehensive, and covers every race for public office where a contested primary is taking place in the City of New York (as per the Board of Elections Website on September 1, 2006).


"Chris Owens …has a naivette about the world that members of Congress are sometimes forced to confront. Owens is right that we would have been better off not going to war in Iraq, but there are times when the United States does need to defend its interests with might. Owens indicated to our editorial board that there is almost no fight he’d be willing to join." 

                                           Brooklyn Paper Editorial 9/2/06  

NOT Another Gatemouth Parody

"With the loss of Cynthia McKinney Charles would do well to fill her shoes. He has the anger and the wisdom that will keep him from assaulting a cop..."

From The Amsterdam News' endorsement of Charles Barron for Congress.

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